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Taiwan company factory worker dies after 13 continuous night shifts

Factory based in China says death unrelated to work but family disagrees

(Qisda Technology Newsroom image)

(Qisda Technology Newsroom image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A migrant worker has died in a Taiwanese factory based in China after working 13 night shifts in a row.

A 23-year-old man surnamed Xu (徐) died in his dormitory on Aug. 14 after nearly two weeks of over 12-hour night shifts, according to the China Labour Bulletin. Xu worked at a Jiangsu-based factory producing electronics for Taiwanese company Qisda Corporation, which supplies to Dell, HP, and BenQ.

Xu was found dead in his dormitory after he failed to present for work. Homicide and substance abuse have been ruled out as causes of death, and Xu was reportedly in good health and had no underlying medical conditions when he began work at the factory in July.

According to China Business Daily, Xu was originally from China’s Yunnan province and traveled to Jiangsu for work after dropping out of school. Xu’s brother said that an autopsy was not carried out on his brother because of the high cost of the service.

Qisda Corporation said that the death was an accident unrelated to work. However, workers at the factory reported low pay, long hours, and poor conditions.

“Working at… Qisda is so exhausting,” employee reviews of factory work conditions read. “When it’s busy, you work 13 hours a day… You are not allowed to rest for a minute," it added.

Xu’s brother said that the family was initially offered between 30,000 to 50,000 yuan (US$4,115 to US$6,860) in compensation. The family first requested 1 million yuan but reportedly accepted 200,000 yuan from the company in October after negotiations.

According to a local trade union, there is no functioning workers union at the Qisda factory. However, the China Labour Bulletin found evidence of worker safety exercises being conducted at the factory in May.